Great Falls Tribune from Great Falls, Montana on June 20, 1975 · Page 8
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Great Falls Tribune from Great Falls, Montana · Page 8

Great Falls, Montana
Issue Date:
Friday, June 20, 1975
Page 8
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8 Great Falls Tribune 1 1 nimnMii i Friday, June 20. 1475 Rangers carry on search, rescue operations in fight against flood By CARLA BECK Tribune Staff Writer Lewis and Clark National Forest officials were well Into search and rescue operations Thursday in an area stretching along the foothills on the east side of the Continental Divide. Faced with inundated roads, washed out bridges and bridge approaches and stranded individuals and parties, the Lewis and Clark is closing all sections of the forest. The closure will affect the High-woods, Little Belts, Big Snowies, Little Snowies, Crazies and Castles, as well as the Rocky Mountain Division which fronts the Continental Divide, George Engler, supervisor, suid. Rangers began closing roads in the forest Thursday. Heaviest damage was reported in the Rocky Mountain Division but late In the day word came in of damage in the Dry Wolf drainage of the Judith with approaches to two bridges gone, a county road washed out on the South Fork of the Highwood, a county bridge on the Hughesville Road in the Little Belts In danger and Grasshopper Campground in the Castle Mountains closed due to a road washout. Search and rescue operations began early Thursday, John Braida, Lewis and Clark engineer, said. One of the first calls for help came from Elk Creek, west of Augusta and outside the national forest. Clive Connor was stranded and the word Braida had at the time, although he doesn't know if it was accurate, was that the bridges on Elk Creek were gone. He called the Air Force at Malmstrom for an emergency rescue. "They got her out and went back for more," Braida said. They then brought out Vera Reeves and her son from their cabin in Hannan Gulch on the north side of the Sun River. Forest Service officials were concerned about a female wilderness guard -who had just been hired and who was stationed at a little guard cabin at Cabin Creek on the North Fork of the Sun above Gibson Dam. A report was unconfirmed that she had moved to a Montana Fish and Game Department cabin at the head of Gibson Dam. The uncertainty ceased Thursday night when it was learned the Air Force had brought her out. The Air Force also brought out a group of scouts and their leaders. By Thursday evening, Sun River District Ranger Bob Duncan reported to forest headquarters in Great Falls that all persons stranded in his district had been accounted for and gotten out. Braida said the MAFB Air Search and Rescue gets the credit for the safety of these people. The Lewis and Clark had asked for two helicopters that are under contract to the Forest Service to help with search and rescue operations. One is located at Missoula and the other at Kalispell. However, ceilings were so low Torman George Funeral Chapel Serving Today's Needs with Traditional Service. 10th Ave. S. off Fox Farm Road Telephone 453-4404 MUNROE - Funeral services tor Hattiebelle E. Monroe will be con-ducted Monday, 2 p.m., Community Methodist Church, Cascade, with Rev. Jack E. Severns officiating. Friends may call after 10 a.m. Saturday at the Tormon-George Funerol Chapel to pay their respects. Internment will be at Hillside Cemetery. THOMAS Funeral services tor David S. Thomas, 82, 1106 2nd Ave. N., will be Saturday at .10 a m. at Torman-Georoe Funeral Chapel with Rev. H. R. Anderson Jr. officiating. Memorials to First Presbyterian Church or the Easter Seal Society are preferred by the family, JUSTICE Services I! a.m. Saturday ot the O'Connor Memorial Chapel for Earl D. Justice, 62, 1715 13th Ave. S., with Rev. Jack H. Severns officiating. Memorials to the American Heart Fund are suggested CROXfORD & SONS Funeral Directors 1307 Central 453-0313 Chapel of Chimes FUNERAL HOME 13tli ST. and 13th An. 1 ftonr 4S2 11.11 "1 ftt hrttfwf few" the two craft could not cross the divide. Word from the Augusta area Thursday evening wag that the Fairview Creek and' Benchmark Creek bridges were still standing but their approaches were gone. The Lick Creek bridge is gone. Ranger Duncan flew over where the one used to be at Wood Creek, but he couldn't see it. Benchmark air field is in trouble. Water was at the northwest end of the field and the west side of the runway was covered with water. A lot of the Benchmark Road has been lost in the Wood Lake area. Donald Mergenthal, tender at Gibson Dam, reported at 5 p.m. that water was nearing Highways bridges washed out Several major highways and rural roads were closed and numerous small bridges were washed out in flooding which began in Northwestern Montana Wednesday night. U.S. 89 from Choteau north to the Canadian border was closed Thursday, as was U.S. 2 on the southern edge of Glacier Park. Northbound travelers Thursday night were advised to use Interstate 15. U.S. 287 also was closed between Choteau, Augusta and Wolf Creek. Farther south, Montana 200 was closed in the Lincoln area when a bridge across the Landers Fork of the Blackfoot River was washed out. In Glacier National Park, officials reported huge rockslides and flooding problems on the 6,500-foot Go-ing-to-the-Sun-Highway. A park spokesman said the scenic highway, one of the state's primary tourist attractions, was swept by blizzard conditions on Wednesday. Rocks as large as pickup trucks tumbled onto the narrow roadway from the snow and subsequent rain. Augusta, a town of about 500, was isolated with water covering all roads. City streets were covered by up to two feet of water. Douglas Johnson, administrator of Cascade County's consolidated pesticides division, was in Augusta Thursday morning. He reported that approaches to the Deaths and D. S. Thomas Funeral services for David S. Thomas, 82, 1106 2nd Ave. N., retired civil engineer and former Great Falls Fire Commission member, will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at Torman-George Funeral Home. Rev. H. R. Anderson Jr. will officiate. Thomas was killed in a throfi-rflr arrant Thursdav afternoon on Tenth Avenue South at about Fortieth Street (photo on page 12). Thomas was born of Welch immigrant parents, Dave and Annie Thomas, after they settled in the lower Sun River community west of Great Falls. He was graduated from Great Falls High School, then Central High, and from Mon- tana State University. After serving in World War 1, he joined the Butte en- gineering staff of the Board of Fire Underwriters of the Pacific and was assigned to the Valier irrigation projectin 1919. A short time later he came to Great Falls with the same company. He retired from there in 1958 and until 1972 was an inspector for Underwriters Laboratories of Chicago. He married Opal Marian Stone here in 1929. Thomas served on the Great Falls Fire Commission from 1954-63 and was an honorary member of Montana Fire Chiefs Association. His professional affiliations included life membership in the American Water Works Association on which board he served as state representative three years, and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. For outstanding district service to the water supply field Thomas had the spillways at Gibson Dam. The top is 47.29 and the water level was 47.22 at that time. He said 3.17 Inches of rain had fallen at Gibson from 5 p.m. Wednesday until 1 p.m. Thursday. Rain had stopped there about 4 p.m. He said It looked like snow was falling on the mountain peaks and this would slow the runoff. Mergenthal said water was over the road leading to the dam but he still had at least one passable route out and if. that route was cut he had his van, food and a sleeping bag. Ray Mills, assistant ranger in the Teton District with headquarters in Choteau, and two or three other employes were stranded at Badger Creek, Braida said the Lewis blocked; bridge on Montana 21 over the South Fork of the Sun River washed out just after he crossed the bridge. At that time, he said, there was 18 inches of water flowing through the town of Augusta. Cascade County closed the Fort Shaw North bridge at 6 p.m. Thursday when water covered the northern approach. The county later closed the Lowry Bridge over the Sun River west of Simms. Water reportedly was up to the bottom of the steel-and-concrete Sun River Bridge just below Gibson Dam Thursday evening and was washing around on the approaches. Some of the guard rail on the bridge approaches was lost. By mid-afternoon, flood waters had surrounded the Sun River School. At 5 p.m. about a foot of water covered Montana 200 in the community of Sun River, but traffic continued to go through. Approaches to the Hughesville Bridge on the Dry Fork of Belt Creek were washed out Thursday, but county road department crews had it back in service before 6 p.m. The county also closed the Sheep Creek road south of Cascade. No road or bridge problems were reported in the Smith River, Sand Coulee, Ardell or Millegan areas. Muddy Creek, through Vaughn, was rising slowly, but wasn't causing any problems the rain stopped about mid-afternoon. funerals received the George Warren Fuller award. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, life member of Blue Goose International, a master Mason and Scottish Rite member. Survivors are the widow, a retired teacher; son, David R. Thomas, Jackson, Mich., and three grandchildren. The family prefers memorials to First Presbyterian Church of Montana Easter Seal Society. Leslee LarSOtl Memorial services for Mrs. Dennis R. (Leslee Gail) Larson, 20, 424 26th St. S., assumed drowned in Little Prickly Pear Creek near Wolf Creek June 11, will be held Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church. Rev' H' R- Anderson Jr. will officiate. Mrs' Larson ,s the former Leslee Reynolds, daughter of Mr' and Mrs' William T. Reynolds, 412 Riverview Drive E- She and her husband, a carpenter, were picking mushrooms when soil on which she was standing gave way. Sne was dropped into the swollen stream. Lewis and Clark County sheriff's officers said the woman's husband was near'y swePl away the swift current as he searched for her in the creek. Subsequent search has failed to yield the h0- . Born in Great Falls, Mrs. Larson attended local schools and was graduated from C. M. Russell High School in 1972. After completing a Vo-Tech dental assistants course, she was employed for a short time by Dr. William H. Gold before her marriage to Larson in early 1974' she was a member nrsi rresuyienan umiui The' family includes her husband and parents, an infant daughter, Julia Ann; sisters, Shelley, Annette and Susan Reynolds, all of Great Falls, and grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Rollin Gait, Stanford. The family prefers memorials be directed to the Montana Easter Seal Society. and Clark headquarters had radio communications with Mills and his companions. ' "He's going to stay put," Braida said. "He's been through this before-back In 1964 he was stranded. He told us he started recording the rain at Badger Cre.ek about 2 p.m. Wednesday and by 7 this morning (Thursday), six inches of rain had fallen." The Teton Ranger District office reported water over the North Fork of the Teton road outside of the forest boundary. Approaches to the county bridge across the main Teton River between the South Fork and North Fork roads were washed out. The 1964 flood washed out the approaches and left the bridge high and dry. Those approaches had been rebuilt. Now they are gone again. Scouts escape disaster A party of five Scouts and their leaders from Troop 180, Malmstrom AFB, narrowly averted disaster in a swollen stream in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Thursday as they returned from a camping trip. The Scouts were to be picked up at Gibson Dam, and were hiking toward their rendezvous when "they encountered the raging mountain stream. A spokesman said boulders "the size of basketballs" were being swept down the stream by the force of the current. One adult and one Scout had crossed safely when one of the boys lost his footing when one of the boulders struck his legs. All three leaders Jumped into the water and two were immediately swept downstream. The third managed to grab the boy and pull him to safety. The other two leaders were carried about a quarter of a mile before they could climb ashore. The hikers were eventually airlifted home by an Air Force helicopter from Detachment 5 of the 37th ARRS, MAFB. The helicopter had been in the area performing other flood rescue missions, and had notified the Forest Service that they were going to look for the Scouts about 3:30. Sheriffs radio cars in position ' Four radio-equipped cars from the sheriff's office took up positions along the Sun River Thursday to facilitate communications in the face of flooding. Deputies were stationed at Vaughn, Simms, between Ft. Shaw and'Sun River, and a sheriff's posse car was stationed at Manchester. A sheriff's office spokesman said the cars would remain in position until, the flood danger had passed. Local citizen band radio operators also took up a station near Vaughn to provide travel information to truckers, according to the Montana Highway Patrol. I sec BIRTHS t Son to Mrs. Ronald Wood, 824 4th Ave. N. Apt. 6. Son to Mrs. Stephen Pind-zola, 5110-B Walnut St. Son to Mrs. Aaron Littlejohn, 3220 C 9th Ave. N. Son to. Mrs. Carl Hatch, 4950-A Ave. C. Daughter to Mrs. Carl Cor-deiro, Cascade. Twins, a son and daughter, to Mrs. Gary Baarson, 761 33A Ave. NE. Son to Mrs. Howard Thompson, 918 8th Ave. N. Deaths David S. Thomas, 82, 1106 2nd Ave. N. Munroe services Funeral services for Hattiebelle E. Munroe, 94, will be at 2 p.m. Monday, in Community Methodist Church in Cascade with Rev. Jack Severns officiating. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery under direction of Torman-George Funeral Chapel. Justice rites Funeral services for Earl D. Justice, 62, 1715 13th Ave. S., will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, at O'Connor Memorial Chapel with Rev. Jack H. Severns officiating. Memorials to the Heart Fund are suggested, ts UMfli-. I r " I f TO BE FLOODED - The Sun River just west of Great Falls; presented a pleasant scene Thursday, but mother nature has other plans for the area today. The river is expected to crest two feet below Service fast on i warning The tip-off that the Sun River would flood came from the Great Falls office of the National Weather Service at 10 p.m. Wednesday. "The Sun River will crest at one foot above flood stage 'at Simms Thursday afternoon," a local meteorologist reported. Less than two hours later the office revised the figure up to two feet above at the same spot. As the hours passed, the situation became more serious. Water began spilling over Montana 200 in the town of Sun River about 4 Thursday afternoon as the initial surge of the flood came through the community. At 4:40 p.m. Thursday, local NFS meteorologists said they expected the Sun to crest at about 21 to 22 feet at the Fourteenth Street Bridge in west Great Falls about 6 a.m. Saturday. Flood stage at the bridge is 15 feet. About an Hour later Thursday, the, NFS amended the crest arrival time to 6 p.m. Friday but still at the 21 to 22 feet mark. That Is bringing the crest 12 hours earlier than first anticipated. At 5 p.m. Thursday at Simms the reading was 11.5 feet (flood stage is 9) and it was expected to crest at 12 sometime Thursday night. That would be the crest that would reach west Great Falls 25 hours later. Crews were standing by at . Montana Power Company's five Missouri River dams in the Great Falls area to provide relief throughout the high water period. Rainbow Dam had a flow of 30,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) at 1 p.m. Thursday. At Diversion Dam below Gibson, it was estimated that 30,000 cfs was going over the top.' During the 1964 flood, 80,000 cfs went over Diversion for a period. Missouri River's flow is in west Great Falls' favor. In the 1964 flood it was running bankfull and acted as another dam to water emptying from the Sun. This time that situation will be less critical. Thursday morning, MPC cut its flow from Holier Dam by 1,500 cfs and later reduced it 3,000 cfs more, in all, from 17,000 cfs to 12,500. "Holier is full," Ralph A. Whalchel, Butte, manager of generation for the utility, said. "This cutback should reach Great Falls about the time the Sun crests." Further helping Holter is the fact that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation cut down Its flow from Canyon Ferry Reservoir Thursday, from 15,000 to 10,500 cfs. Guard called to aid relief Seventy Air National Guardsmen based at Great Falls International Airport were placed on state active duty Thursday by the Montana Department of Military Affairs to aid Cascade County Civil Defense flood relief opera tions. V Col. Edwin Gemberling of the 120th Fighter Interceptor" Group said air guard crews and vehicles were made available to the CD office to dispatch as it saw fit. The main contingent of the Montana Army National Guard is in Idaho on summer maneuvers. Where's the fire? Wednesday, p.m.-l7l3 Ith Avt. N , wire arcing in tree. 11:53 o.m -1903 8th Ave. H., elec trical wire down. Thursday, 4:07 a.m. H04 1st Ave N , wire arcing in tree. 10:36 a.m. Big Bear Stare, assist police. 3:07 p.m. 2608 Central Ave., wire arcing in tree. 4:13p.m. -701 1st Ave N , car fire 4 19 p.m. Central Avenue West and Twentieth Street, trailer fire 'Top of the Line" No cheap imports! Made by American American plants! Sealed Down Strips Lok-Tabs Call us for a FREE estimate on reroofing your , home. Workmen available! Protect your valuable investment with a weatherproof roof. We can handle financing. Marvin Slider Windows Low, low prices! All set up. With insulating glass and screens. Locks installed. $.1616 Rough Opening V 9IA" 1 ' 1 1 'A" . S-2016 Rough Opening io'AM i' ii'i' S-2024 Rough Opening 3' 10'j,,x2,7'2" S-2032 Rough Opening 3' 10V2M x 3" 3'a" S-2432 Rough Opening 4' 6'2" x 3' 2W . . . 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